Saturday, October 20, 2012

Curried Squash

This past week I was tasked with pairing a meal with a harvest beer.  I'm not quite sure they realize the potential monster they released with this charge...

At our last beer session, we were treated to five samples.  The one that struck me the most was Weyerbacher's Imperial Pumpkin Ale.  As with most pumpkin ales, a heavy spice hit the nose first.  I braced myself for another cloyingly sweet, wannabe pumpkin pie concoction and was humbled and shamed by what I actually tasted.  First the spice hit my tongue, but not the typical pumpkin pie was warm, and familiar.  The flavor lingered and danced on the tip of my tongue, toying and teasing...not quite being placed. Another sip in...cardamom.   Oh, cinnamon and nutmeg joined the pas de trio, but the cardamom was star.  Supported by a dry, malty backbone, I was in pure heaven.  And had a serious craving for curry.

Thus this recipe was born.

Sadly, Weyberbacher was not to be had.  However a similarly spiced and not overly sweet ale found its way into it's place...Brooklyn's Post Road Pumpkin Ale.

I had many squash on hand to choice from.  A buttery and tender acorn squash.  Robust, but mild pumpkin.  Slightly sweet butternut.  Nutty and melt in you mouth red kuri...

As fall seems dominated by pumpkin and butternut, and as I did not want the sweeter notes these to squash tend to lend, I chose the red kuri and a smaller acorn to create the dish.  The result was buttery and nutty, with a hint of sweetness from the coconut to balance the dryness of the inspiring beer and a complex dance of warm spice from the garam masala.  The ginger lingered in the back.

Served on its own, or with a hearty piece or two of naan to sop up the sauces, this dish makes for a wonderful fall meal.

the recipe is my own

serves 6-8

The Ingredients:
2 Tbsp vegetable oil or ghee
1 red onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2" knob of fresh ginger, minced
2 Tbsp garam masala
1/2 vegetable or chicken stock
1 - 15 oz can coconut milk
8 cups dished squash (pumpkin, acorn, red kuri, butternut and delicacta ...)
salt and pepper to taste

The Process:
Heat the oil or ghee in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat.   Add the onions, garlic and ginger.  Saute until until soft and fragrant, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the garam maslam and stir until well combined.
Add the cubed squash, broth and coconut milk.  Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, cover and reduce heat.  Simmer on low for 30-40 minutes, or until the squash is tender.  Uncover and simmer and additional 10 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.
 Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you're back! This curry sounds delicious!